What Is the Function of Bertha Rochester in Jane Eyre Essay

1765 WordsApr 14, 20158 Pages
What is the function of Bertha Rochester in Jane Eyre. There are evidently many functions of the character Bertha Rochester in Charlotte bronte's 1847 Bildungsroman novel, 'Jane Eyre'. Bertha Antoinette mason is the violently insane first wife of Edward Rochester, who is moved to thorn field and kept hidden away in the attic. She is a mysterious character' to whom the reader doesn't find out about until the protagonist jane eyre does due to the novel being written in janes experiences as an autobiography: the presence of Bertha is revealed to the reader exactly when it is revealed to Jane. Although not occupying a large amount of the novel, in dialogue nor in many scenes: Bertha is one of the most crucial characters in the novel-bringing the conflict and whole climax of the entire novel. One function of Bertha Rochester which could be noted- is to show a direct contrast to Jane eyre as a character . Jane is the quiet,thoughtful governess who goes to stay at thornfield as an orphan and a governess; only to fall in love with her master,mr rochester (who she is yet to find out is married to mad Bertha in the attic). The descriptions we receive of jane (only ones she tells us she heard about herself) enable the reader to build a picture of Jane as a character, and therefore begin to compare her to Bertha. Descriptions of Jane using pre modifiers such as ' so thoroughly modest and sensible' from Rochester, and declarative statements such as 'you were so discreet' help to build a picture of Jane as a calm and sensible character. Additionally, even jane describes herself as, 'yet too calm for that' . Jane appears extremely passive, 'I obeyed him' and sometimes fairly childlike and innocent, 'you are so young and so little acquainted with men'. It is easy to picture Jane as a quiet, calm and obedient character with descriptions such as these. Descriptions of a

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